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6 Health Side Effects of Sleeping on a Bad Mattress


A quality night's sleep is critical to your overall well-being. How well you sleep is primarily determined by your mattress's quality, which most people understand and readily acknowledge. However, few people take the appropriate steps to fix their bad mattress symptoms. After all, a mattress is a significant investment that requires extensive study before purchase.

An old mattress, or one that isn't a good match for your body's needs, can do a lot more harm than just disrupting your sleep. A bad mattress can cause anything from chronic back pain to allergies and weight gain, as well as deteriorating mental health and stress.

Here are six compelling symptoms of sleeping on a bad mattress and reasons to ensure you're sleeping on a suitable mattress.

A woman tired and yawning

#1. Allergies

A bad mattress and chest pain can go hand-in-hand. You can find bed bugs, dust mites, and other harmful microscopic bacteria in old mattresses. This is particularly true if they have not been cleaned properly, which can cause allergies, eczema, and respiratory diseases. This is extra important if you regularly use a sofa bed mattress and periodically host Airbnb guests or general guests.

Dust mites multiply quickly and make your old mattress their comfortable home. Cleaning your mattress, mattress pad, and bed cover is vital. It's also essential to change your bedding after a while because the material begins to disintegrate over time and becomes a breeding ground for bacteria.

An angry man holding a pillow over his head

#2. Disrupted Sleep

Perhaps the biggest sign of sleeping on a bad mattress is poor sleep. You can find yourself waking up several times during the night due to discomfort caused by your mattress sagging, indents, hardness, or softness. You may not be aware that you're being dragged out of your sleep cycle if you're experiencing slight discomfort and therefore wake up feeling tired and grumpy.

If you're experiencing the above with your current mattress, look for one that has enough pressure relief to prevent localized discomfort. You'll also want the right amount of firmness with a responsive and buoyant design to allow you to switch positions effortlessly without having to reposition yourself.

A woman holding her lower back

#3. Body Pain

Can sleeping on a bad mattress cause body aches?

Due to sagging or bowing in the center, where most of the weight is placed, an old mattress may cause aches and pains. Sagging mattresses are likely to be the source of a stiff back, achy muscles, or a sore buttock. If this is what you're going through, it's time to invest in a new mattress. When you sleep on an old mattress for a long time, the pain can become permanent, increasing the risk of developing severe health problems.

A man holding a weight scale over his face

#4. Weight Gain

Your body's ability to detect when you are full is utterly distorted when you don't get enough sleep. People also become hungrier, leading them to eat more than they need and eventually gain weight. After a meal, poor sleep leads to increased insulin secretion, which controls glucose processing and promotes fat storage. Insulin resistance is linked to weight gain, which is also a risk factor for diabetes.

A sick man with a thermometer in his mouth and a blanket over his head

#5. Weakened Immune System

Sleeping in a low-quality mattress can result in poor sleep quality, leading to a weakened immune system. Bacteria may also contribute to a weakened immune system. Sleep deprivation will wreak havoc on your body's internal systems.

A study has linked sleep loss to a weakened immune system. You are more likely to become ill if exposed to anything, making it more difficult to recover quickly.

A tired woman with her hands over her face

#6. High-Stress Levels

While stress is typically related to work, family, or financial difficulties, a poor night's sleep from a bad mattress can be a vital issue. Sleep deficiency causes a significant rise in stress levels.

Quality of sleep is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. Lacking a good night's sleep might cause stress and make other sources of stress feel much more burdensome and less manageable. A lack of sleep can ultimately contribute to anxiety and even depression. Rest can play an essential role in preventing and addressing chronic mental illness.

A weighted blanket next to its carrying case

Made for a Better Night's Sleep


"This blanket has been a lifesaver. For months, I have struggled to sleep through the night. I would wake up 3-4 times a night. I have taken melatonin as well as CBD oil to try to sleep. Neither of the them worked. I am on my 9th night using this blanket. I have been able to sleep through night without waking up. Thank you for making such a wonderful product. I would highly recommend it to all who have trouble sleeping at night."


How to Fix a Bad Mattress

The best way to repair a bad mattress is to replace it with one designed for your body weight, physical characteristics, and special medical needs. This is usually the best solution as uncomfortable mattresses are either too old or incompatible with your specific sleeping needs.

Also, applying a mattress topper can help change the bad qualities of your mattress. Getting a firmer mattress topper will make a 'too soft' mattress a lot more comfortable.

A mattress is a significant investment that should be made after extensive research. If you settle for a low-cost, poorly finished bed, you won't get much use out of it. It'll begin to sag quickly. Possibly, you'll have to replace it every so often, eventually spending a lot of money.

Your mattress's life expectancy is also influenced by your lifestyle and cleaning routine. A mattress that's washed irregularly would have a much shorter lifespan than one that is cleaned regularly.

For an even better-quality sleep, your bed and other accessories should be picked wisely.

Additional Sleep Therapy REsources

A cartoon man laying in bed. Text, “The Ultimate Guide to Sleep”

The Ultimate Guide to Sleep

A graphic of a woman sleeping. Text : 33 Ways to Sleep Better

33 Ways to Sleep Better

A graphic of a man sleeping on a wedge pillow. Text, How to sleep on a wedge pillow

How to Sleep on a Wedge Pillow

A weighted blanket next to a carrying case Text, The benefits of weighted blankets

The Benefits of Weighted Blankets


About the Author

Head shot for Brandon Landgraf

Brandon Landgraf is the Digital Marketing Manager for Carex Health Brands. He finds passion and fulfillment in creating content that enhances, improves, and enlivens others' quality of life. All of his written work is formulated to not only offer essential advice and tips but back it with proven studies and experts. His mission is to connect with readers and provide steps to make their lives better.

You can connect with him on LinkedIn here.

About Carex Health Brands

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Carex is your one-stop shop for home medical equipment and for products that assist caregivers with providing the best possible support and care for their loved ones. Carex Health Brands has been the branded leader in in-home, self-care medical products for over 35 years. Our goal is to improve the lives of our customers by bring them quality products that bring dignity back to their lives. With our three nationally distributed brands, Carex Health Brands serves national, regional and independent food, drug and mass retailers along with wholesalers, distributors and medical dealers.

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